Monday, December 29, 2008

poking at the government 2

do a search on 'respite', mine's the only one in there.

Midwives for a Change

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Uru being open-source means anyone can do pretty much whatever they want without Cyan's approval.

Dr Britcom Mom:

I think ddfreyne sums it up pretty nicely.

And some of us get the screaming heebie geebies from the thought.

Yup. Big Old Screaming Heebie Geebies. NOT because of the potential for wild and wacky Ages. Not because of the potential for 'adult' spaces and events. Not because of worrying about Ages that look like they were pulled straight from an 8 bit game (Although doing that *on purpose* might be tres nifty.

Because with no one steering the ship in any way, how do we keep from ending up on the reef? It's already started, with the conflict between an FCAL or none, between if this will be isolated shards just like UU, or one big central network that servers can decide to connect to or not.

I could care less if someone makes a Nudist Age, or someone makes a Pentecostal Age where everyone must dress modestly, as long as everyone has the right to visit, or not. But without some sort of centralization, some sort of road map, we'll end up like UU all over again, individual 'shards' of people, who rarely to never go anywhere but their 'home' shard, and all the attendant isolation, territorialism and conflict.

And all the cool new Ages in the world won't help that.

Friday, December 12, 2008

OSMOUL, Venn Diagrams and You

The Uru/MOUL/Open Source MOUL community seems to fall into three basic categories:

Social, Sandbox and Story.

Social are the people who are really into it for the hanging out, Sandbox are the people who want to tinker and build, Story are the people in it for the story and history. Within that there's lots of overlap of concept: people who want to build D'ni artifacts, or people who hang around discussing the notebooks in the Hall of Kings, or people pushing the limits of what their avatars can look like and having parties.

Each of those facets have their own expectations, their own cultures, their own wants and desires, and in some areas they blend, and some they don't.

Classic Venn Diagram, right?

Ever notice how a 3 ring Venn Diagram looks like a tree as seen from above?

The trunk, the strongest part of the tree, that which supports the entire structure, is in the area where all three of those facets; story, sandbox and social, come together. To be strong, the Tree needs a core place where all of those aspects can manifest in an equal, supported way.

From there, things branch out, into places where people are creating puzzles, and telling stories, and social events, and creating surreal ages, and having parties and playing with physics.

Everyone can build a home that meets their dream, and it is built on a foundation of a place where everyone is valued and welcome and a part of the Whole. And all of the branches, twigs and swirling leaves, can be accessed by climbing up that trunk. Or, you can be content to just sit in the shade, leaning up against the trunk watching the sun filter though, and that's just as good.

more thoughts

Just to be clear, I'm not horrified or dissapointed by this move by Cyan. I think it opens up the world for the community to strech its wings in ways that it never has before. But there will be, for me, an element missing. I think, given that we won't have the no new content limitations of UU, that the community will step up to create some fantastic stories. Maybe, someday, those will even be integrated into the canon story. But, I'll still wander around D'ni wondering what *that* building is for, or where *that* passage might lead.

You do realize this is Cyan getting back to its Roots, don't you? This latest iteration will be called "Cosmic OSMOUL"

Open Source MOUL

I can't say that I'm thrilled.

On the one hand

All of those people building Ages will finally have a chance to really share their skills.

All the people longing to be back in the Cavern can.

All those who need an Empire of their own, with their own rules, can have it.

On the other hand, unless Cyan runs their own canon server, we'll never see the DRC again, never know what happened to Yeesha, and the truth behind Wheely's death and the Bahro cave she found...

They could never have canon plot things happen on any fan run server, not without accusations of favoritism or elitism, demands of proof of Cyan involvement, ect and so forth.

So, while this keeps Myst Online as a game, as a concept alive... the story of Uru is, at this point, dead.

EDIT: Just after poasting this, I saw this quote from Chogon (Mark DeForest) over at the MOUL forum:
By opening up the source to MystOnline, it does not preclude Cyan from creating their own server in the future with Cyan's content and storyline. However, with our current situation, that might be a long ways off and we don't want to hold people back.

So, there is always the glimmer of hope that we will, someday, get the Uru story Cyan meant to tell. Less dead then, and more like Sleeping Beauty.

Worthy Cause # 3874

This lady singlehandedly puts on a Christmas Dinner for homeless youth each year. Help her out.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Waiting for Uru

Marten said:
My point is: If Cyan is not involved, whatever you have is not really [i]Uru[/i]. You can call the game whatever you like... you can pretend that it is Uru, you can put the word Uru in the name, but it is like calling the sky green and the clouds purple; it doesn't change what it really is, and any incarnation of D'ni won't be Uru without Cyan.

Yes. This.

Fan made, fan driven, fan centric is a good thing. People can fine-tune their social and sandbox space the way they want it. There is already tangental way to do this, witness the thriving Uru-centric communities in There, Second Life, and (to a lesser extent) Guild Wars. There should always be a place in the Uru world for fan creativity.

But fan run live options are not Uru. They are using D'ni as a setting, but they aren't built around D'ni, and the mythology of Aitrus, Ti'ana and descendants. Uru *is* that story. Always has been. Always was meant to be that story. We were meant to be players in that story.

So, if Cyan stepped up today and said "You have a choice, you can have access and rights to materials, you can make fan shards or servers or Ages or whatever, but the price is that we will never move forward with Uru or the D'niverse again... or you can wait, bide your time, and eventually we'll pick up where that story left off." then my vote would be for waiting.

Not because Cyan is perfect, not because they haven't made any mistakes, but because, when it comes down to the bottom line... Uru, the real Uru, the settinggs and mythos of D'ni, is *theirs* not ours. It's their creation, their story, their vision, their world. And it's also their IP. We don't have the right, legally or ethically, to demand or expect they hand any of it over to us, no matter how much we want it, no matter how cool it would be to have UU2: Electric Boogaloo, no matter how much we miss hanging out with others in the cavern.

Signal Boost- Missing Girl in NC

Friday, November 28, 2008

Change for the Karma Jar

"Ebony is a stay-at-home mom with her two kids. Things were going along well until Daniel lost his job. Then the car died and without money to get it fixed, they couldn't go job hunting. And without a job, there is no money to fix the car. With bills piling up and their cars failing, they took out a second mortgage on the house to keep the family moving. Months later, now they're facing foreclosure. They need the money by December 8th or they have no place to live. "You don't happen to have $10,000 laying around, do you?" Ebony joked with me."

Her oldest son is developmentally delayed so they have to pay for his nurse and special schooling. Then, surprise! Ebony found out she was pregnant on top of it all

10,000 hits. $10,000. Please donate $1. Help Daniel and Ebony keep their home.

I sent my little bit I had. Because this could be us, in a heartbeat. No one should lose their home to misfortune.

Monday, November 03, 2008

One Day More

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Yet Another Upopular Myst Opinion

The Uru community is not worth cat herding right now, not worth trying to inspire, not worth wrangling.

The *MYST* Community is. The D'niverse community is. The people for whom the D'ni Universe is about more than an online multiplayer experience... THAT is the community that has endured for 15 years, that will continue to endure even if Uru never comes back in any format.

Uru has become, in many people's eyes, the be-all and end-all of the D'ni universe. That without Uru the community collapses, fails, the dream dies. Uru fell, so D'ni falls.


Uru is just one iteration of the story, just one expression of the Mytholody of D'ni. There are a thousand other ways that Mythology could come to light, via Cyan, or other sources.

It doesn't matter if we never get Uru back. It doesn't matter if we never gather in the cavern again. If we're that hot to see each other in the digital flesh, there's a dozen other ways to do so.

What matters is keeping the dream, the stories, the soul of D'ni, alive.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Thinking Out Loud: M.O.U.S.E.

Myst Online: Uru Shard Environments

Home Shard-
Like D'mala, this would be the 'official' shard. Run by a team of Cyan approved admins (a rotating team?) The admins would eventually have the ability to open and close existing areas, add new content objects, make subtle changes to the world as the tech to do so advances. An official story reason would exist for why MOUL ages aren't available at this time. Both official and Fan run story could (and should) happen here, supported by the admin staff tools. Fan-made ages could be added to this shard after rigorous GoM review.
While the Admins could have the admin KI mods, only realistic mods would be available to the UserKI (light, /me, etc.)

GoM Test Shard-
Where the Guild of Maintainers can test out Stuff, like new ages, new toolsets, etc.

Public Test Shard-
The next step from the GoM Shard, the place people can come test out new fan-made ages & tools, with the caveat that Things Break, Here There Be Vault Wipes, etc.

Playground Shards-
Individually run Shards that allow the Admin and UserKI.

Ponder: Reasonable ways to make sure that a)people can have a playground, but b)the community doesn't diffuse between dozens of shards? Ideas: Lottery for pre-set number of shards? Neutral 3rd party run shard servers w/ rotating admin teams?

Ponder: Basic Code of Conduct for all Shards, simple things, like "Be excellent to each other", "Don't use unauthorised tools", "Thine Admin Has The Last Word", etc... plus the ability for a Playground shard to designate a rating "G, PG, R", so no one gets supprised, or has expectations about a place that might not exist.

People are already figuring out how to access MOUL and EoA content in earlier versions of Uru. We can assume that someone, somewhere is reverse engineering MOUL for a UU-type experience. And that at some point, those tools and builds will need tested where the fans can poke at them.

People are willing to pay for MORE. Will people pay for something even more fan-run, if a portion of the proceeds go to support a D'mala like shard: that is, a place where Cyan can participate. How could such a system be implemented? Kagi keys? Other user registration system?

The Ubiquitous Everybody just knows that there's underground shards running already. You can bet there would be with a relaunch of any UU sort of system. But the above shards would be the ones publicized, supported by Cyan and the GoM, and included in any new tools, builds and ages.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Friday, October 03, 2008

I'm Joe Six-Pack

From the inimitable Copperwise, ok to link/distribute with proper credit.
My Fellow Joe Six-Packs:

Sarah Palin et al like to call us "Joe Six-Pack," and they think we like it too. They think it sounds folksy and homey and cute.

Sure. It's a folksy, homey, cute way to euphemistically call us something very close to trashy, ignorant hillbillies. We're just not supposed to be smart enough to realize it.

See, JSP isn't referring to our rock hard abs. JSP literally means "the blue collar guy who picks up a six pack of cheap beer every night after work and goes home to watch Nascar (and probably beat his wife/kids and light a cross on the black neighbor's lawn but we won't say anything about that wink wink nudge nudge)." That is the message that they are trying to get across to America.

We know you. You don't have a thought in your head beyond making sure you have food on the table and beer in the fridge. You want us to take care of you and do all the thinking for you. You're a demographic we've put together based on statistics of race, level of education, and family income. And we think that everyone who falls within those statistics is just exactly the same. And did we mention we don't think you're very bright?

And that, to them, based on statistics, is what they think of us middle Americans.

Are there a percentage of Americans who fit their definition? White (or POCs who are happy with their lot in life), blue collar, no higher education, racist, homophobic, specific brand of Christianity, afraid of intellectuals, jingoistic, sexist...of course there are.

Can we safely assume that demographic is already on their side? Fabulous. So now, JSP just refers to the undecided voter and the folks they want to pull over from the other side.

That is to say, us.

So, Governor Palin et al, let me tell you who the Joe Six-Pack that you think you're talking to really is.

Joe is the guy I worked with who served in Vietnam, worked construction, had four kids, thought Portland micro-brews were for hippies and weirdos -- and told me one day about having to change churches, because "our pastor spends all his time talking about how bad the gays are, and I go to church for God, and I really don't think God cares who you sleep with or who you marry." Oh, and he went back to school at 45 to get a degree in architecture, so I guess he won't be Joe Six-Pack soon. His income will put him into that Better Class of People y'all think you're part of.

Joe is a writer or an actor or an artist who waits tables, pumps gas, shelves books, does landscaping, delivers pizza, scrubs toilets, and otherwise works his or her ass off all day or night to pay the mortgage so they can continue to write or act or make art.

Joe is the lady down the street who is "just a secretary" and never finished college. She also reads D.H. Lawrence and lots of egghead poetry. Oh, and she can also name the newspapers she reads, but then she doesn't actually have time to read all of them.

Joe is a POC with parents of different races, who gets interrupted an awful lot at work to be asked "what ARE you?" by customers, and continues to bag your damn groceries with a smile. Then he goes home and watches Britcoms on PBS, plays long distance chess with a guy in Russia over the Interwebs, and feeds his kids before putting them to bed and reading them subversive stories by Neil Gaiman.

Joe is a stripper (who doesn't have a drug habit and isn't a prostitute.) She's putting herself through school. She's going to be a lawyer and look like one of you on the surface, but you're really gonna hate it when you're up against her in front of the Supreme Court.

Joe spends 8 hours a day on an assembly line with a wrench, turning bolts and hoping you don't send his job to a child in China. On Thursday nights he bowls with a bunch of construction workers and he does share a pitcher of beer with them. Budweiser, even. Then he goes home, puts on his ABBA records, and dances with his partner -- Andrew.

Joe comes in when you call I.T. because you've opened a forwarded executable file from your sister in an email with the header "Smile, God Loves You" and locked up your machine with a nasty killer worm. She smiles politely when you tell her how impressed you are that a pretty little girl like her knows so much about computers. Then she goes to her Tai Chi class and later dances naked in the back yard with her coven. But she drives a Chevy truck, so who knew?

Joe Six-Pack isn't who you think he/she is. You don't have a fucking clue about Joe Six-Pack.

I wish I were only talking to one camp. But I'm talking to my own, too. We "liberal elitists." Because we say the same kind of things when talking about "the average American." We assume we know them, and they are the same people Palin knows.

And that's kind of dangerous, and it's also kind of not true. Like I said, there are those people out there, and we know what camp they are in. But how many of us assumed "the average American" would say that Palin won the debate, because she didn't fall down and start speaking in tongues? And what are the polls saying? And hasn't our side also been moaning about how "Joe Six-Pack" wouldn't vote for a black man? Assuming "the average American" is that special demographic? Do we really think he did so well in the primaries because there's such a vast quantity of "intellectual elites" out there to compensate for all of the average people who'd naturally vote right wing? Come on, people.

Most of the "liberal elitists" I know are not, in fact, rich. Some are highly educated and working in lucrative professions. Some are highly educated and working class. Some, sadly, are incredibly liberal but not terribly educated (formally or autodidactically) and are just as easily led by sound bite as "the great unwashed" that they don't believe they are a part of.

But honestly, I know for a fact, pretty much everyone I know who will read this is, statistically, demographically, Joe Six-Pack.

And how many of fall into the assumed stereotype? Even if you're conservative? Even if you do like to buy a sixer now and again?

Are we the Joe Six-Pack they think they know?

When I get overwhelmed by all the things I feel passionately about -- racism, sexism, homophobia; when I despair that nothing is getting better and we're all just going to go on hating each other; when I start to fall into thinking that the doomsayers are right and nothing has improved and America just sucks...I hear Dr. King in my head.

I say good night to you by quoting the words of an old Negro slave preacher, who said, 'We ain't what we ought to be and we ain't what we want to be and we ain't what we're going to be. But thank God, we ain't what we was.'

And I look at the world, where things have changed a bit at a time, a step at a time. There are states where gay marriage is legal. We have a black Presidential candidate, and not, bless his heart, a Jesse Jackson running independently, but a black candidate who made it through our very inherently racist and generally crappy two party system to be the probable next President of the United States. And had it not been him, it would have been a woman.

We SO AIN'T what we ought to be or what we want to be. We are not even what I would call close. But one step at a time, one person at a time, we are steadily pressing on, trying to get there.

And the rich and powerful don't get to steal the credit for that.

The credit for the ongoing battle goes to Mr., Mrs., and Ms. Goddamn Joe Six-Pack. The agitators, the commenters, the people on the phone banks, the people in the streets marching, the people organizing, the people speaking out, the people working on their families and neighbors to make the changes that have to happen for us to change our society for the better...

Joe Six-Pack.

You are JSP. I am JSP. I grew up white and middle class. I have that endangered mortgage. I worry about putting food on the table. Hell, I'm an artist and a writer, I'm not even as high up as blue collar...I can barely find a good shirt to wear. And I'm bisexual, polyamorous, and pagan. And by the way, I know Cindy Soccer Mom. She's a full time nurse, "single" mother, drives a minivan, takes her kids to soccer and dance classes -- and goes home at night to strap on a leather harness and roger her girlfriend silly.

I am Joe Six-Pack. I am not who they think that they are talking to. Are you?

Monday, September 08, 2008

Truth in Advertising

Or something like that. It's come out in various places that Eleri is Not Doing Well.

This is true. See, the body can only run on stress and adrenaline for so long, before things start shutting down. When they say that stress can kill you, they mean it, and I'm trying to put the brakes on before the ride gets that wild.

I'm doing my best to keep up with the obligations I've already made, like making it to Mysterium, and getting to AustinGDC. But after that, I'm likely to drop off the face of the D'niverse planet for a while. (I can hear the party scheduling starting already! ;))

My community focus, after that, will be Mysterium 2009. I need to not jump into any other projects, as much as I'd like to.

I need time to heal, physically and beyond, if such a thing is possible. The good thoughts people have sent really do help. The whole community means lots to me, theres so much in my life that feels very bleak, that seeing the hope and vitality of the community, being able to do things that *matter* to the community, does me worlds of good.

Hang in there for MORE, everybuggy.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Smith-Magenis Syndrome

September is Smith-Magenis Syndrome Awareness Month. Both my daughters, Mousie and Pookie, have the RAI1 gene mutation associated with SMS. Mousie is officialy diagnosed, while Pookie is not, based on the existing diagnistic criteria.

If you've ever wanted to ask me questions about SMS, or the girls, but were unsure how or what to ask, feel free to jump in here.

Also, please visit PRISMS for more information on SMS, events supporting SMS families, and how to help.

Monday, August 18, 2008

More GDC questions

this time in the form of a full survey

plus, there's the ongoing discussion of Why Uru over here

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Getting grilled by a constituent.

So, Mr. Maybe President! What's your policy on recess? What are you going to do about school lunches? And I think every little girl should get a pony!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

pulled from My Mysterium

since My Mysterium is misbehaving...

This was a triumph!
I'm making a note here:

It's hard to overstate
my satisfaction.

Yeah, that. I haven't got the mental fortitude at the moment to express just how much GLORY AND WIN (as the kiddies say) this Mysterium was made of. But, I wanted to get a few thank-yous out before I turned anymore jelloy.

LaReh is my new Favorite Burger King Delivery Man. thank you so much for looking after me.

Many many thanks to KonDor for his kind words and support during my Saturday afternoon emotional reboot.

Simon Bitiddle is the Eleri Peanut Gallery. Witty, clever, an UTTER smartass (There is proof!) And one of the most selfless, generous, caring people I have ever had the honor of meeting. Thank you so much, hon.

Wolfie, for watching over us and giving us beautiful weather for the weekend.

EricL, as always, a snugglebunny and dear, dear friend.

Al's little bro, for his beautiful singing... even if he did try to put my teeth out in the pool.

Seekrit message for Odo: Silly Grin, heeheehee!

River, you rock my socks in more ways than I can count.

Memiki for being a beautiful person, full of wonderful hugs, and a warm heart. And cookies!

For the long-suffering Oscy, much love.

For 'nat. Dude. (Do0od!) You rock. We rock. Yup, we're not married!

For my beloved ozho, my Blade...for staying home with the Mousie, even though we both deeply, deeply wanted you there.

The Melting Pot in Burlington may NEVER BE THE SAME!!! We love them.

Ari, for being the mail box. Him and Keshwyn for shelter and taxiing.

For EVERYONE, thank you for enduring me, for looking after me, for being amazing, wonderful, fun people who came all the way to Boston, just to hang out with 50+ other Myst geeks. This is Uru.

I miss you all. See you next year in SPOKANE!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


US Department of Health and Human Services moves to declare some forms of birth control as 'abortions'.

So, in order to support that Abortion is Bad... they're talking about taking away the ability of women to KEEP FROM GETTING PREGNANT in the first place.

Just...just... AUGH!. There's NO science to support this, no viable evidence for this position, just religious extremism. Good grief, this could have been written by the POPE, rather than a branch of the US Government!

Whatever your views on abortion itself are, the ability of women to control their capacity for pregnancy is a hallmark of society. It gave women the ability to do something else besides spend their lives barefoot and pregnant. To quote a friend:
It's widely accepted that the single most powerful driving force in the liberation of women from thousands of years of being confined to home-and-hearth was the advent of reliable forms of birth control. For the first time in human history, women were able to make their own reasoned choices about when or whether to have children, and that gave them the freedom to do, well, everything else.We've seen the pattern repeat itself all over the world: If you want to empower women, first give them control over their own reproductive choices, then give them access to education - then stand back and watch them bloom.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ohnoes! An Unpopular Suggestion!

Yours Truly said:
balance balance balance balance. At some point, Cyan will have to either supervise themselves, or vest into a group (and dear Maker, may it be an anonymous group of people, known only to Cyan, otherwise the power paranoia will fly) the need to keep crappy Ages and Edits from their IP. Now, what constitutes crap will be up to them, but it'll have to happen.

the reply was:
Oh goodness no. Not another secret group. Wont the crappy accused have the right to know who their crappy accuser is?

No. Cause there's already two big huge problems in this community; the perception of people having Power Over Others, and Us vs Them. Even in a situation where QA would be appropriate, like a publicly accessable Age, those two problems would come screaming to the fore were there to be a named group of people playing Wonka's Trained Squirels, sorting out the bad nuts.

"Who gave them that authority, what gives them the right, how dare they stifle creativity", and so on; followed by "Well of *course* Harry rejected that Age! Snape built it, and you know Harry just can't be objective there..."

The whole community would descend into the mess. So, if it ever gets to the point that Cyan has to control the 'quality' of what's coming in, and if they needed to 'outsource' that work. Don't let us know who's doing it.

Build some damn good strictures, so people know what's being looked at, even allowing for objectivity, establish an iron clad appeals procedure, but don't paint the targets on people's backs.

Myst in 9+ hours

Parrallel Cautious Optimism

In a large bit of squeeing this morning, I found the news that The ElfQuest Movie is being picked up by Warner. This news makes me howl with glee, havening been an EQ fan for 2 decades now. I met the Elves before I met the D'ni. They have seniority. And I used to pour as much heart into the World of Two Moons as I do Myst now.

The Pinis have been working on the Elfquest Movie for what 10? 12? Many? years now. There's been treatments done, talks of TV, even a Saturday morning cartoon. It's been picked up, and then lost in mergers, and then dusted off a dozen times.

Man, where have we heard that before?

This announcement about EQ, aside from making me happydance around the room, also made me fire off an email to our beloved Mysteriacs, Adrian and Patrick. There is always room for hope. If it takes a decade for some studio to finally see the Myst Movie as worth making, then we'll wait that long.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

John McCain- PTSD?

From Sailor Jim:
Okay …. republican presidential candidate John McCain was a POW for five and a half years, enduring - as he’s described it - “brutal torture” that was so horrific that he “broke” and attempted to kill himself. He even has put this in political ads.

Sooooooo, no post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulted due to this? Vietnam, shot down, tortured for over five years, attempted suicide, and none of it affected him beyond that? He’s never stated that he ever suffered from (or is still suffering from) PTSD and, as near as I can tell, not one print or broadcast reporter has called him on it. They’ve gone rabidly after politicians for depression, alcohol, drugs, infidelity, illegal immigrant house staff, and stuff they did or said in their high school years, but McCain possibly having a fairly severe emotional disorder is being given a pass?

Somebody get Tom Brocaw down here for me to bitch slap, okay?

There's MORE AT THE LINK. It brings up some interesting questions, just about how that generation views mental health in general, let alone the mental health of VietNam veterans.

Should presidential candidates be required to prove mental health, in addition to physical health? At what point would something raise red flags? Would we have caught Reagan's Alzheimer's early then? McCain seems to have been mentally stable through out his political career, but we're also talking about a man who would be the oldest person elected president. Things break as you get older, and mental stability can be a first casualty.

When we learn McCain's running mate, the question of 'do we want #2 running the country' becomes more acute, and not just an abstract, when #1 would be 72 at the time of inauguration.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


Why do we fight so hard for Uru?

It can't be just the modeling & sandboxing, there's tons of places to do that.

And it can't be just the social aspect, there's millions of sources for social interaction.

So, with all the other outlets, what is it that makes us grab on to Uru and hold on with the tenacity of homesteaders?

If you had to think of the one core thing, that makes you want to be a part of Uru, and not any of the other MMOs or Virtual Worlds, what is it? What's the seed of the Uru community?

(Discalimer & request: I am using this conversation as seed material for my presentation at the Austin Game Designer's Conference. Please indicate if I have your permission to quote you.)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Another bit of Wisdom of the Blade

I really think the community needs to embrace The Great Tree of Possibilities 2.0 (like Web 2.0 but different). We need to look at Uru as everything that happens in the community - age creation, fan-fiction, Cyan content, Mysterium, the forums, the websites, etc. Hopefully the official use of the Guilds (Cyan seems to have finally learned that lesson!) will make part of it about the fans as much as the fiction.

It's time for each of us to be the Grower. And I'm happy to browse other people's gardens

Yeahthat. Uru is, always has been, more than a game. It is a 'game' that brings the parts together, but Uru is the gathering of people together.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Is it November Yet?

I've ganked this commentarry, whole cloth, from Blade, because he said exactly what I would have:
This following clip about the place of religion in America from Barack Obama exemplifies why I support Obama and am genuinely excited about him being president. Even if it's just election rhetoric, the fact that the point is being made is absolutely critical.

Here are some choice quotes:
"Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into Universal rather than religion-specific values."

"No matter how religious they may be or not be, people are tired of seeing faith used as a tool of attack."

While some people think this is a secular position, I disagree. This is a truly American position (in the best sense of 'American'), one based off of the fact that the United States is a pluralist society, and that in a pluralist society, every faith matters (even humanism, secularism and atheism), not just one.

And this is a position that is easily born of faith, be it Christian or not.

Watch the video.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

pocket of crisis un-management

I have been remaining mostly calm and collected with answering questions about Wolfie's passing.

Here is what my internal reaction is:


we now return you to your regularly scheduled Eleri.

Monday, June 09, 2008


None of my accomplishments as an 'adult' has ever been worth the celebration of my family.

This is depressing.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


Friday, May 30, 2008

Cool Photography, Hawt Photagrapher

Can't get a much better combo than that. GO and check out Joe Decker, then give him shiny stars at the bottom of the page.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Someone on LJ was inspired by this picture to maybe write something. So I thought, why not put it out there to tickle everyone's brain?

There's the photo... go and write! Get other people to write!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Uru and User Created Content

There is both a legal and a practical issue Cyan would like to resolve in regaing the rights. As Tony Fryman, Cyan Worlds' CEO put it, "Turner holds the rights to the game. Because of that I can't turn these guys (the fans) loose to do their own thing."

After listening to the interview with Miller, we contacted Ricardo Sanchez, VP of Content and Creative Director of GameTap. He sent back (by email from this reply:
"We have been in discussions with Cyan about the future of Myst Online: Uru Live, and selling the rights back to Cyan is definitely an option.
While there isn't a set dollar amount for this to happen, any agreement would need to be mutually beneficial for both companies."

Fryman said the rights remain with Turner for another two years.

So, this brings up a very important question for the Guild of Writers, and other age builders: Can you wait two years?

If, in two years, the rights revert back to Cyan, they can "let you guys loose" then... or, they can spend a potentially not insignificant amount of money so that UCC can happen sooner.

Which is a harder pill to swallow? Cyan stretching themselves financially at a time that finances are snug, for UCC; or having to keep the UCC 'underground' alive for two years until Cyan has full control?

Is there a legal solution that allows the fan side of UCC to financially contribute to the purchase of rights, while still allowing Cyan to retain the majority of control over UCC?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thank you, California.

Although the understanding of marriage as limited to a union of a man and a woman is undeniably the predominant one, if we have learned anything from the significant evolution in the prevailing societal views and official policies toward members of minority races and toward women over the past half-century, it is that even the most familiar and generally accepted of social practices and traditions often mask an unfairness and inequality that frequently is not recognized or appreciated by those not directly harmed by those practices or traditions. It is instructive to recall in this regard that the traditional, well-established legal rules and practices of our not-so-distant past (1) barred interracial marriage, (2) upheld the routine exclusion of women from many occupations and official duties, and (3) considered the relegation of racial minorities to separate and assertedly equivalent public facilities and institutions as constitutionally equal treatment...
... As past cases establish, the substantive right of two adults who share a loving relationship to join together to establish an officially recognized family of their own — and, if the couple chooses, to raise children within that family — constitutes a vitally important attribute of the fundamental interest in liberty and personal autonomy that the California Constitution secures to all persons for the benefit of both the individual and society.


Read the rest of the California Supreme Court ruling. It is an absolutely BEAUTIFUL application of real law as it applies to the civil institution of 'marriage'.

The President's Sacrifice

Mr. President,” he was asked, “you haven’t been golfing in recent years. Is that related to Iraq?"
Yes,” began perhaps the most startling reply of this nightmarish blight on our lives as Americans — on our history.
It really is. I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the Commander-in-Chief playing golf. I feel I owe it to the families to be as — to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal.
Golf, Sir?
Golf sends the wrong signal to the grieving families of our men and women butchered in Iraq?
Do you think these families, Mr. Bush - their lives blighted forever — care about you playing golf?
Do you think, Sir, they care about you?
You, Mr. Bush, let their sons and daughters be killed.
Sir, to show your solidarity with them - you gave up golf?
Sir, to show your solidarity with them - you didn’t give up your pursuit of this insurance-scam, profiteering, morally and financially bankrupting war.
Sir, to show your solidarity with them - you didn’t even give up talking about Iraq - a subject about which you have incessantly proved without pause or backwards glance, that you may literally be the least informed person in the world?
Sir, to show your solidarity with them, you didn’t give up… your
4,000 dead Americans and your response… was to stop playing golf!
Not “gulf” - golf.

As gobsmacked as this makes me, the idea that Bush would see giving up golf as a sign of solidarity with the troops who are out dying on his orders, I'm not supprised at all at his laizzes fare additude. He's got 8 months left. Whoever wins in November is going to have to clean up his mess. At this point, he knows he's getting away scott free, no consequences at all for the mistakes he's made.

Monday, May 12, 2008

just one night a week...

52 Nights Unplugged


We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time

–T.S. Eliot, from Little Giddings

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Sparklies for a Good Cause

Hie thyself over to the Interstitial Arts Foundation auction, and check out the prettys!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Happy Beltaine Everybuggy

And to celebrate, here's a Coulton Classic!
NSFW, btw

Monday, April 21, 2008

D'niverse Documentary CD, step one.

It begins HERE


Go and register for Mysterium! Book your hotel! Start getting excited! I know I am ;)

Sunday, April 20, 2008


For the first three people that reply to me with your email, I will send you something. It might be something I've made, or something cool from my Box o' Random Stuff, it might be music, or a, a book I think you will enjoy, or something else that is nifty-neato.

Whatever it is, I promise that I will get it to you in 365 days or fewer. I promise I will not send you junk, but it will be unique, and make me think you you :)

The CATCH is, you have to post this offer in your journal, too. Bwaahaa!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Visions of Uru

I really haven't said a whole lot on what I envision Uru to be, mostly cause Tweek and Alahmnat have been saying it much better than I could.

I want a world that feels like I've literally been sucked into a book, that I am part of the world, not just an observer.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


While this snippit of article from over on the Washington Post is talking about LOST, (I kan has new episode, plz? *pacepace*), I think that much of what they talk about applied to how some approached Uru, as well. "Content" needed to be supplied constantly, stuff needed to be happening constantly, or Uru wasn't entertaining. Rather than taking Uru as 'real', where adventures don't happen every day, and waiting for things to unfold, people we chomping at the bit.

That may be part of what purred the move to episodes. Also, and I say this with deepest admiration for the person behind the story... but the story was being run like it was being written, not played out. It was an observable narrative, not an interactive experience, and that put people off of the story, badly.

"This is really about unfolding narratives and our decreasing ability to live in the unknown," says M.J. Ryan, author of "The Power of Patience."

While humans may have always wanted to know what happens next (See: rabid readers of Charles Dickens's "The Old Curiosity Shop," released in installments in 1840), Ryan says the Internet has transformed that feeling from a desire to an entitlement.

Traditional narrative was about a linear beginning, middle and end, says Ryan. "But the narrative of the Internet is associative and non-linear." Instead of watching a complicated story unfold, users can hop around seeking specific puzzle pieces. "It encourages the bottom line. It's about who wins, who loses, and what's on the island."

What worries Ryan are the implications of that bottom line: "If we can't even wait to see what happens next week on a show, what does it say about our abilities to live our lives in the not knowing? Because for that, we don't really have an option."

"It does say something about human nature and instant gratification," concedes Jon Lachonis, who created the popular Web site But, he argues, his interest in "Lost" is more social. "Whatever the mystery du jour is, there's a real communal approach to talking about them."

Monday, April 14, 2008

My dreams are secure

Ahh, yes, the Moral Superiority Clause. In which someone tells you how dumb it is to put energy into something they deem unworthy, because there's Starving Children in China(tm). Usually paired with the It's Just A Game statement, in which the digital nature of the source material is seen as further indication of the unworthiness of attention.

There are some of us who believe in Uru's inherent worth. That it should exist not because it's a money maker, or because it's cool to play, or whatever. We see the dream, and we want it to be real, because it deserves to be shared on its own merit. We put time and energy towards it because we feel it is the right thing to do.

No one, not jackal59, not anyone else, has the right to denigrate our joy in Uru, our dedication to bringing Uru to life because it should be. Snicker all you want behind your hands, but some of us still believe in beauty for beauty's sake. That things that inspire wonder are meant to exist come hell or high water. And that's something that all the snide comments and waving of business models can't take away. It's called 'faith'.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Irrational Anger

IMPORTANT: This is a generalized, sweeping rant, directed at no one person or group in any particular. It is a gut reaction to a set of data, that may or may not have any basis in reality. However, I need to get it off my chest.

I just logged into Uru, with 5 hours of it's life left.

There's 95 people in the city. Another 100+ spread through the 'hoods. Who knows how many in Ages.

WHERE THE FRACK WERE ALL OF YOU WHEN IT MATTERED? Sitting bitching on forums? Complaining that Uru wasn't what you wanted in some way shape or form? Kvetching about this that or the other thing?

NOW, NOW WHEN IT IS TOO LATE, you don't have a problem with the game. You're fine with 'just' socializing or 'just' going through ages you've seen before. NOW, when it's about to be taken away from you, now you notice.

Damn you all. Damn all of us for letting this slip through our fingers.

Monday, April 07, 2008

The Ending...doesn't exist.

Uru made the Myst community HUGE, and connected it in ways that it hadn't been before. But with Uru going away (again), and having the potential of changing (again), people are falling apart (personally, and collectively).

This is why keeping things like the Guilds active, and directing people to, and getting people interested in attending Mysterium, is important. It shows that there is Myst life outside of Uru.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Noodlings, cat herding and Getting Things Done

Issue 1: There is a finite amount of people in the D'niverse community willing to step up and Do Things.

Issue 2: There are things that Could Be Done, often more numerous than the aformentioned people.

Issue 3: The D'niverse Community is Allergic to Initiative.

Issue 4: People who Take Charge are viewed with suspicion.

Issue 5: Commitment and Follow Through are not always priorities.

All of these snowball together to create a dynamic in the community of people spreading themselves too thin, burning out, things not getting completed, or people not taking charge of a project, and it flounders for lack of direction.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Bring Your Hankies.

No, I mean it.

April 5, 2008 - For Immediate Release

Fans across the world unite to send Cyan this message: Don't. Give. Up.

This video by Marten completes a journey of seven in this Age of Earth.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Mmmmm. Books.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


One of my favorite games ever is available for free download:

Heaven & Earth

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

30 Years of Pointed Ears

Elfquest's 30th Anniversary Gift: Everything

Thirty years after its first appearance in early 1978, Elfquest is poised to make its biggest online splash ever. Beginning March 14, and every Friday throughout 2008, Warp Graphics presents every Elfquest comic book story from the Original Quest all the way up to 2006's "The Discovery."

With over 6000 pages of material to prepare and upload, the project will easily take the remainder of this 30th anniversary year. The initial offering will start off with an explosion of firsts: There will be the entire first graphic novel, to introduce new readers to the characters and world of Elfquest, plus the first issues of all the spinoff titles produced during the 1990s. Each week will see several more issues added to the collection. Eventually, every published page will make its way to the online archive. A timeline and a catalog ofall Elfquest appearances are part of the package, so all readers will be able to experience the complete saga from start to present-day.

This rocks my socks. I've been reading EQ for 20 years, and I'm totally hyped that people will be able to catch up, without having to hunt down back issues. All these goodies will be available over on

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Actually, not really, I'm just not the dictator type. Was talking with peeps, including Wolfie, t'other night about just this topic.

I am a cat-herder. I am very good at making things happening and delegating responsibility. Between being self-employed, in charge of care management for someone with disabilities, and from having worked conventions and autocrated SCA events, you learn how to make and keep to a schedule, how to make sure things are getting done, that sort of thing. I think if I hadn't ended up being good at that, life would have imploded long time ago.

Between this, and a overabundance of IDEAS (and not enough of me to go around), and an utter allergy to seeing things talked to death, I can often throw out things in a "So, here's what we're gonna do..." way.

This was very useful in the SCA, until my wasband crushed my spirit, and convinced me my thoughts and ideas were worthless. It wasn't really until I joined the Uru community, and begain my Mentor training, that other people felt my ideas had value again. Unfortunately combined with the ittybitty self esteem, the combative communication style learned from said wasband, and some major ideological and personality conflicts, I got pegged in some circles as power-hungry, trying to rule Uru.

Now, I'm 80-90% sure if you really went back over things, there wouldn't be much evidence for me trying to take over. I've never said 'my way or t'highway', and I've only deliberately spoken out against individuals twice, once when I told someone directly I disliked their methods of communication; and once when I felt someone's desire to force the community into their ideology was causing enough conflict that they needed to be ignored on a wide scale.

Other than that' there's not been much beyond the usual internets sniping. Maybe a bit more, cause I got on the receiving end of some people's target practice.

And, over the last couple years, with the intensive personal work I'm doing, I have been both healing from the wounds left by an unfortunate marriage, and learning to see the world with new eyes, and new understanding. It's made it mus less likely to jump into the fray, although I do still respond badly to direct assaults.

Safe Space

Most people might find it odd that I don't dislike the concept of an area for having hissy fits in. It is a very good thing to have a place people can go rant and complain. There's gotta be clear guidelines though.

One, Everyone has to agree, explicitly, to go Vegas style. What goes there, stays there. It doesn't get used outside the space, doesn't get dredged up months, years later, doesn't get talked about outside that room. It has to be safe space, otherwise it's not really a good place to vent.

Two, it has to be CLEARLY stated and understood, not assumed, that what people say there is *venting*, said at the extreme of frustration, and may not be what people overall think or feel about a person or situation.

Three, it CAN NOT be used as a front and an excuse. You can't use it to say what you really think about something, be vicious and nasty about it, and then say "but I was venting in the venting area!". It's not a place to just be a poison pen, Ann Coulter style, and then hide behind it being a place to let loose. Especially if rule one or two is violated.

So, while a place to vent is vital for most human beings, it needs to be a place that you can do so in trust and understanding. And there needs to be penalties for those who violate that trust, that space.

And now back to your regularly scheduled program.

Like Blade, I see the very clear impasse. They will respond sarcastically when called on their actions, but they never actually say, to the person they've attacked, "Hey, I'm sorry, I made a wrong choice."

PS won't ever say "I'm sorry" for smear campaigning me, T won't say I'm sorry to for continuing to post an inappropriate sig even after it was removed, Ywon't say I'm sorry for calling the mods Nazis, B doesn't say I'm sorry for accusing Blade and I of manipulating people.

I made the mistake of letting them get under my skin again. As someone said to me last night "How are the Slackers still relevant?" That's a very good question.

I've figured out what it reminds me of. Westboro Baptist Church. Wherein they are absolutely sure they are right, and doing the right thing, while much of the populace stands around going "huh?" They spend huge amounts of effort to get under people's skin, but stay just this side of the rules, so that when someone finally bursts, they can nail them with the "look how dangerous these people are!" argument.

Actually, it reminds me a whole lot of my ex husband and his girlfriend. They never did or said anything wrong or hurtful, it was always that they were either just reacting to someone else, or that person's "perspective" was wrong.

Sounds a bit like Scientology too, for that matter. Just call me Anonymous.

Y'know, there's a part of me that really hates to see people dissapointed... maybe I should start the Church of the Anti-Slackers or something, so then they have an actual conspiracy to be mad at me about!

Anyhow, this has all be patently worthless, as usual, so I'll happily go back to ignoring the latest Slacker-involved drama, now that I know I wasn't really being called manipulative and a user, that was all just a fish net, hah hah.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Yet Another Round Of BS.

I'd like to draw the community's attention to what just happened over on Ahlamnat's Blog

BAD made a deliberate accusation, that Blade and I were manipulating and using people into "fighting our battles", that people were to stupid, to blind, to make their own judgments. That Blade an I had orchestrated the entire debate in a deliberate attempt to discredit Slackers
When called on it, his response is:

"I wrote the above post to draw you out in a way. I didn’t really think you were behind any of this. I just needed to see if you were willing to surface for real."

In other words, he LIED. He, with clear intention, LIED about us, to see if we'd respond.

Let me make sure this is abundantly clear: BAD felt it was right and appropriate to make false accusations in order to draw us into a battle neither of us were fighting.

This is the behavior of the people challenging their 'detractors' to meet them on their own turf. These are the people saying they are the ones trying to make amends. These are the people saying they've done nothing wrong. Because falsely accusing someone for fun is OK. Because dredging through the internet for personal details on someone and using them to try and drag someone through the mud is OK.

Draw your own conclusions. Blade and I don't need a mind control ray for that.

I am locking this particular post for comments, so people can continue the discussion where it started.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Deep Wisdom

NEVER got into a power struggle with a Discordian. The Rules are NOT what you think they are, and they change at whim.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Eleris are...

Who I am, what I am, what I do, has never been much of a secret. No need for flag waving, and no need for hiding under a rock either. If someone asks, I'll answer as appropriate. If someone wants to go Google me, go for it.

Worrying about who might be whispering behind my back, or talking dirt about me in some seekrit forum, or throwing darts at pictures of me... that's not part of my life anymore. It's not important, not worth the energy spent on fretting, or trying to change people's minds, or defending myself.

I feel a sadness for the nifty people I may never really get to know, because they've chosen to dislike me, even more so if they've chosen to do so without making an informed choice. But that is their choice, not mine.

I have made choices too. There are people I have distanced myself from because of their words and deeds. That is my lookout, not theirs, and the door is open if behaviours change. I don't need to stand at the ready with tar and feathers, in case someone I have issues with steps 'out of line'. It is not in me to hate. Frustration, annoyance, yes. But those can be dealt with quietly, in my own head, or privately with trusted friends. I learn from the rash actions of my past, take stock in what's truly valuable, and move on.

Healing takes many forms. Slowly, I've been able to lay aside those agreements I had with myself, born of years of emotional need, that demanded I have everyone's acceptance, that everyone see me in the same light. From it comes a quiet understanding that all I need to be is me, and people will come and go around me as their agreements demand.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Random Noodlings

Established patterns of behavior are often much more telling than single incidents. Especially when dealing with situations where specific incidents are difficult to isolate. Mousie is a prime example. What triggers it? Dunno, cause it happens all the time. What did so and so do that people dislike them? Dunno, they're just like that...

My wedding ring stayed on my hand the entire 9 hours in the ER...and then promptly vanished upon arriving home. GRR!

If I was to have just one single Last Day Of Uru wish, it would be that I could walk into cavern wearing my usual sleeveless shirt that says "CAUTION! 10ft Aura of Permissiveness". That would make me a Very Happy Eleri.

How does one misplace a 1 gallon jug of lotion?!? By putting it UP on a shelf, evidently.

I smell like a COOKIE!

Off to check out this office space. Wish me luck!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Was Uru a Sacrifice?

Cyan Worlds was dead. And not just metaphorically so, they had closed their doors, sent the workers home. Just Tony and Rand were left, to tie up some loose ends, and wait on the answer to a long shot.

It was a long shot that came through. GameTap would publish Uru Live.

Very few companies are brought back from the brink in this way, and Cyan would have been NUTS to put all their eggs in the Uru basket.

So what to do? You have a game that may bring in lots of people, may grow large, but from day one you know you won't have the resources to devote to it to make it as optimally performing as it can be. But, the act of putting it out there is going to bring in that will keep you open, money that will mean you can keep working.

You put the game out there, you give it just enough to keep it afloat for the contract year, and you work your ass off on other options. You make absolutely sure you have other irons in the fire.

If the Uru works, cool. If not, then your company is still alive, something that it most decidedly wasn't a couple years ago.

Cyan had to have known that they would be struggling to keep Uru dynamic with what they had, and they seemed to ignore many efforts to uplift their efforts. Maybe that was because their main focus wasn't, and never had been, Uru. Uru was the crash cart, the ambulance. The other things they started working on were the things that were meant to sustain life.

It makes a whole lot of sense. Look how, after EoA, they were done with the D'niverse, and then suddenly Uru was back. Look at how the story started to lean in the direction of user-created Ages being the salvation. How the Guilds that were presented were the ones that supported community continuity and Age Building. How they're talking about hosting their own servers now.

Maybe their whole focus has been 'keep Uru running long enough to get our heads above water, and then give it back to the fans'.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Heretical thoughts re: Uru

There are two camps emerging in the aftermath of the MOUL closure announcement;

Side One feels Uru should be given a good long rest, and not revived until it's been given a complete overhaul from the ground up, rethought from concept to implimentation.

Side Two feels that access should be granted as soon as possible to online Uru in some form, so that people can socialize, and build/change their enviroment.

The two ideas are not entirely incompatable.

I have always held the controversial viewpoint that Until Uru (as kick-ass and positive as it was) had a detrimental impact on the immersive potential of Uru Live. We spent so much time playing on the 'set' as it were, that when the play started, suspension of disbelief became difficult.

Imagine that you and some coworkers do a Civil War recreation group on the weekends... there's a different way of socializing, speaking, behaving, because you're putting yourself in that space, complete with enviroment and costumes.

Now, imagine that instead of going home from a recreating weekend, your 'real life' comes there. All the office politics and behaviors and social structure is now taking place in the Civil War area of your life. Eventually, you get used to it.

Then, one weekend, it goes back to being the Civil War, and not the office. All of a sudden, you're back to having to think like the Civil War. And, there's people there now who were never around for the recreation group, all they know is Office while Wearing Uniform. And they think the Civil War is getting in the way of them getting anything done.

The magic, the wall between 'real world' and 'alternative world' gets smashed, and once it is, it is REALLY hard to get back.

It's the same thing that keeps Disneyland from allowing costumed characters to be seen out of character.

The line between 'just a place to hand out' and 'the world of the D'niverse' was so blurred, it was very hard to tell when we'd crossed it.

More people saw Uru-the-enviroment as a social outlet, than a fantasy story world. So story, as sparse as it was, held second fiddle to social interaction. Not a bad thing, but not ideal, either.

So, how to balance keeping the world of the D'ni as something 'special', and not just a hackable, customizeable 3D chat room ala Until Uru, and still provide that UU like space for people to hang out in, and build Ages?

It can be done, and even fit the existing story.

Retool Uru/UU into something new... make Relto, the Neighborhoods, Eder Delin and Eder Tsoghal available. Give N'uru a Nexus that has those places only, and can be customized by the shard admin to allow links to new, player-made areas and ages.

Leave D'ni, and the other Ages, off-limits for now. The places above, and any place new that the players come up with, are the only places 'safe' from the Bahro, for now.

This gives people the Uru enviroment to socialize in, but leaves the majority of the world of Uru in Cyan's hands, to be kept as 'magic' space, so that when the story can be resumed, we can all enter into it with a sense of wonder.

This would also cut down on one of the serious plagues of MOUL: "BTDT Syndrome". People who'd been living off of UU were BORED SILLY in MOUL, right off the bat, because the content was stuff they'd been seeing and gone over with a fine-toothed comb for years.

Cyan could make changes to places like Kadish Tolesa, or Teledahn, in preparation for re-release (which could even happen to N'uru servers...), and they would seem new to people, because they weren't the Same Ol' Scenery.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Hmm. That could be interesting.

UU Shard-like Uru servers, with intermittant purchaseable 'expansion packs' from Cyan.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Monday, February 04, 2008

Time to move on

Someone asked, how do you want Uru to keep going?

I don't.

I would like Uru to take a much needed break, and quit trying to duct tape it together. I would like Cyan to move on for a while, and pour some of their creative energy into something new and unique. I would like to see them take new paths, that they haven;t walked because they've been focused on Uru.

Nor am I fleeing GameTap. I enjoy stuff that I get out of GT besides Uru. I paid all of $5 a month for the next year. BFD. I pay more than that a month for pizza. I understand the people who are canceling, but I don't feel I'm doing something wrong by not sending that particular 'message' to GT.

Yes, this is very different than my last post. I've had time to think, now.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

If the Sky Were to Fall

If the worse were to happen, and we woke up tomorrow to the news that GameTap was pulling Uru would suck giant glacial erratic rocks through small coffee straws. We all know that. There would be the expected stages of grieving- anger, blame-denial-sadness-etc. But would we be bereft?


Because UU still exists. Sure, the auth server isn't available, but it *was*. And it could be again.

If I were to run a Post-MOUL-Uru, this is what I would do:

~Reinstate the Kagi key, or a similar fee-for-access system. A one time thing, or a monthly fee. Something reasonable, but enough to keep the auth server running.

~ Encourage non-digital cannon content through creative storytelling. Give players things to work with. Create NPCs. Give them, under NDA, to some trusted players. Give these characters cannon story to work with. Let them share DRC notebooks, translations, tidbits of knowledge. Encourage these NPCs to visit multiple shards, so all the shards can participate.

~Make a STORY reason for the shards. Instancing has already been introduced into the D'niverse, maybe the only way to flee safely from the Bahro, was to split off into individual worlds.

~AGE BUILDING. Make it happen. Make it happen as fast as it possibly could.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


consistantly, Blade says things better than I can, and makes me stop and regroup.

*sigh* Uru was not was it was originally intended to be. And I'm sorry that has been so disappointing for so many people.

But I'm tired of these people. The 'old guard', the 'new guard'. I'm tired of hearing about how everyone is so disappointed by the game, the new people, the old people, Cyan, GameTap, UbiSoft, whomever. I'm tired of fingers being pointed at me, fingers being pointed at people pointing fingers, like a bunch of bitter old people sitting on a porch, arguing about whose back hurts the most.

Maybe it's because I'm bad mood today, but my sympathy is at zero right now.

If Uru something that is so disappointing to you, for the love of God go do something else. Don't sit around taking potshots at others because they are enjoying themselves when you did not. Do something you enjoy and let others enjoy what they enjoy.

If you enjoy Uru, just enjoy Uru. There is no need to push your opinion on others who might not. Don't take it as your God-given crusade to defend it or Cyan from anyone. It's not your job to defend Cyan or Uru from its detractors or its own flaws. Play your game and, with dignity, allow others to have their own opinion.

I haven't been doing as much as usual with Uru lately, because I'm frazzled in general, I'm tired of feeling like I'm working uphill, and now, I'm content to just wait and see.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Wisdom of the Blade

because once again he says something better than I can.
People are free to annoucne their intentions, one way or another. I understand those people who are bored with Uru and have no desire to spend any money on something that they are bored or frustrated with. I certainly don't want anyone to be in a position where they feel they have to do that.

I also understand the frustration of the rabid Myst fan, as I am one. The rabid defense of the game is, I think, more really a self-defense. I know I get tired of being told that something I enjoy and value is boring, worthless, a waste of money. The implication here is that I'm some sort of moron because I am not bored, do not think Uru is worthless and I do not feel I am wasting my money.

I get very tired of told that I can't possibly be having fun when I, in fact, am. And I get tired that because I enjoy my game and I am willing to say so, and I try to work with my community that I have a 'pervasive snobbish global hippie vibe'. Of course, the reverse is true. I tire quickly of being told that I just don't understand or am not using my imagination enough when I am not enjoying something. So the sword cuts both ways.

In many ways, I think people get so riled up about these sorts of things in Uru because a lot of us see Uru as a refuge from the rest of the gaming world. A lot of people who gravitate to the Myst franchise do so because at least some of their interests are not being served by the rest of the games out there. Maybe they don't like violent games, or competitive games, or can't play the other games that are out there (they just don't have the hand-eye coordination, fast 3D environments make them sick, etc.). Maybe the sense of virtual archaeology that seems unique to Myst interests them more than puzzles alone, or the surreal-yet-not-aggressive nature of the background. For those people, the Myst franchise and its communities are a haven. And people often get angry when it seems like their sanctuary is being disrupted.

Maybe that's just my hippie vibe showing.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Logging In

Here's questions for everybuggy to ponder;
Why do people who don't see a reason to log into Uru seem so determined to prove to everyone else that there's no reason to log in?
Why do people who see reasons to be in Uru seem so determined to draw people in, even in the face of long odds?
What are people's positive intentions for their actions?
Do either of them serve Uru, and the community, and how?
Which is worse, an empty cavern, or a cavern full of people twiddling their thumbs?

ask away...

Have you ever wanted to ask me something? Now's your chance.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

God is Love

Because my Blade is a deeply wise person:
From a legal perspective, any set of capable, consenting people should be allowed to enter into any relationship or set of relationships they want to with each other and call it whatever they want.

From a religious perspective, God is love. All love. Even the types of love someone else doesn't like. To block love or it's expressions, you are actively defying and opposing God.

Monday, January 07, 2008


I've come to the conclusion, though reading and observation, that extreme Libertarianism is at its core, selfish. It revolves around a platform of "This is mine, I should be able to do whatever I want with it, however I want, whenever I want." and "What is mine, stays mine, and benefits me, and I have no obligations, social or otherwise, to any other person or institution."

This is diametrically opposed to my position on things; which is that we, as a society; and on behalf of that society, the government; have a moral obligation to make sure that our society is healthy, educated and safe. Things like public health, public safety, and public education should be absolute priorities for any society, because those three things provide a solid foundation for a thriving community. Healthy, educated people contribute more, and cost less overall, than people who are uneducated and ill. People who live in communities where they don't live in fear of violence, crime or disaster, are able to focus on more then mere survival, and can contribute to the community as a whole.

It is utterly bewildering to me that there are people who can't see the core value in making sure people are healthy, educated and safe. I dunno, I guess I just can't buy in to the American Darwinism that some people feel is the One True Way.

There was this guy...

Who got sent to Iraq. And his asked a good friend, "If I die, post this last message on my blog for me."

That last post is up, now.